As the parents of two children, we have been fortunate to have two beautiful children who are completely opposites.
However, unlike my eldest daughter, my second child is much more difficult to motivate.
Much to my frustration, we have watched as teachers have recognized his abilities, but getting him to perform is like pulling teeth.
He doesn’t care what other people think, so we have had a difficult time finding ways to inspire him.
This led me to read up on ways I could help, and here are some of the tips that work.
1. RULE OUT HEALTH PROBLEMS
While some kids are intrinsically more active than others, most kids are not naturally lazy.
If your child seems to be tired and unmotivated, this could be for a couple of reasons. As children grow, their bodies need to rest more than usual.
If your child is having a new onset of seeming laziness, give it a little time and let his body grow.
Once his body catches up, he should be back to normal.
If you suspect any medical problems causing laziness, have your child evaluated by a pediatrician to rule out any physical problems.
2. SHORT TERM GOALS AND REWARDS
Don’t criticize your child, but help her find ways to succeed.
With my son, money is not an incentive, so we make up a sticker chart every week.
If he gets his homework done and keeps his bed made, we go on a “date”. Since we have other children, this is usually something as simple as a walk without the other kids, or a trip to the store for a piece of candy.
Find the thing that will drive your children to succeed, and then work it into part of their lives as a goal.
Stickers are sufficient for smaller children, and the older they get, make sure to keep rewards something you can follow through on.
Even if your child doesn’t master every goal you have set, lavish him with praise for the things he did well.
Point out how his personal effort equates to achievement.
Praise your child with words that point out their effort being the cause of meeting the goals. This will help them recognize their part in success.
4. KEEP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE
As a parent, you set the tone for your child’s education and lifestyle choices.
If you perceive school as fun and useful, it’s likely your kids will follow suit.
If they see you criticizing, however, it’s going to help them justify actions that are negative towards the school.
5. TIME MANAGEMENT
This one has been a real struggle for my son, who is oblivious to time and deadlines. He is so quiet, that often I don’t realize that he isn’t doing what I asked.
We have formed a chart with what he needs to be doing at certain times in the day, and I must follow through with helping him accomplish it.
This is absolutely essential for survival in the real world, so make sure you find ways to help your kids overcome laziness and manage their time.
6. ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILDREN’S INTERESTS
For a child who would never read and always lazy, I was amazed to discover this little boy interested in trains who had memorized the entire train schedule such as arrival and departure times, names of the stations, different kinds of cars, etc.
If you can find your child’s niche and feed it, learning will become incidental. This is sometimes more difficult in a classroom setting, but communicate your child’s interest to his teachers so they can coax performance out of your child as well.
7. EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
Whether you choose this as part of the rewards/short term goals or not, it is up to you, but sometimes your child will flourish if they are allowed an outlet to express their creativity.
You must motivate your child with creative ways to find their passion.
That talent is just waiting to come out.
Get them in group or personal activities that make them happy, and just like us adults; when we are happy, all areas of our life improve.
8. ADJUST YOUR EXPECTATIONS
If you are having a hard time accepting your children’s seeming lack of motivation, learn to embrace it.
There are some children who are just artsy, poetic dreamers, and they can bring joy into your lives in ways you never would have thought up.
Spend extra time learning and motivating your kids, because they will be the ones who come home at the holidays every year, and knowing their passions will bring joy to you and them for your entire lives.
Once you learn and accept that there are some kids who won’t be motivated as how you feel they should be, you are free to enjoy them.
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